On Monday, the NBA revealed its selections for Eastern Conference and Western Conference Player of the Week, naming Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard as this week's winners.
The award is Leonard's first of the year, a well-deserved honor after leading the Clippers to a 3-1 week on the road. The Klaw poured in 29.8 points per game on supreme efficiency, shooting a scorching 48% from three-point range while averaging two steals per game throughout the week.
Kawhi Leonard is named Western Conference Player of the Week
This week's performance earned Leonard his first Player of the Week honors since April of last season. The Clippers star came up with some big stops and some highlight reel scoring outbursts that kept his team in the driver's seat as the Clippers continue to inch closer in their pursuit of the number one seed in the Western Conference.
These are the premiere plays of Kawhi Leonard's award-winning week:
3. Access denied for Jimmy Butler
In Sunday's rock fight against the Miami Heat, Kawhi Leonard made his presence felt, rejecting a mid-range attempt from Jimmy Butler and forcing a shot clock violation. The block was one of two for Leonard, who notched his 16th-consecutive win over Miami in the contest. The last time Leonard suffered a loss at the hands of the Miami Heat dates back to the 2014 NBA Finals.
2. A mid-range masterclass in D.C.
During Wednesday's visit to the District of Columbia, Kawhi Leonard put on a show in the mid-range. Behind Leonard's ability to covert on some highly-contested shots, the Clippers managed to slam the door early with a 40-19 third quarter. The big lead allowed Leonard to take a seat for the entire fourth quarter, getting him some much-deserved rest in the midst of a seven-game road trip.
1. 10-in-a-row versus Detroit
Seven minutes into Friday night's contest in Detroit, the Pistons opened up a 22-8 lead over the Clippers. During that opening stretch, Kawhi Leonard was 0-of-2 from the field. From that point on, Leonard dialed up 10 consecutive made baskets, including six made three-pointers. The Pistons wouldn't force another miss from Leonard until half way through the third quarter, a dominant streak that inspired the Clippers in their 32nd win of the year.
Stretches like this from Leonard are an encouraging sight for what may lie ahead for the Los Angeles Clippers. Strong outings night after night from the Clippers star, both offensively and defensively, have given the team confidence that they have what it takes to make a deep run in the playoffs this season.